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Video Game Corner: Shadow of the Colossus Pt.2
Welcome back everyone to the second installment of Video Game Corner, Shadow of the Colossus edition. In part 1 we discussed some of the history behind this cult classic and why it is held in such high regard by both critics and fans. In part two I will go a bit more into my first impressions of the game and what I expect from it over the rest of the game.
I want to reiterate that I never got a chance to play the game on either it's original PS2 or the PS3 remaster. All of my experience comes from a basic knowledge about the game and the near 3 hours I have put into it so far.
Now I knew going in that SotC was going to be a slow paced game, based on my aforementioned basic knowledge about the game. The opening cinematic really gets you prepared for the type of game you are about to play.
It is not only pretty slow moving it is also lacking of much going on other than the main character riding a horse across a few different settings, but that is not the only way the cinematic mirrors the game.
It all looks absolutely amazing. It was a pleasure to sit for a second and watch the main character simply known as "Wanderer" and his trusty steed "Argo" dash across the world that we are about to step into. It gives you a good look at just how empty and forbidden this place you are about to enter is and by before you know it Wanderer has arrived.
After a quick talk with a hole in the ceiling and some exposition I was off, free to explore and search for my first target. Now there have been some great looking games released on the Playstation 4 in the last few years, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Metal Gear Solid 5 and MLB the Show just to name a few and Shadow of the Colossus is pretty darn close.
When you look really close to stuff like rocks and the ground the game will show it's graphical issues, but when you are blasting through a giant meadow at full speed with these amazing mountains on one side and a massive valley on the other is where Colossus really stands out.
The setting is so incredibly easy to fall into and get immersed in, which is even more impressive with the lack of actual things in it. There are no side quests or missions to accomplish. There is no timer or even any enemies, just you, a sword that points you in the right direction when in sunlight and Argo. Oh and a bow.
This may seem like a turn off but when the scene is so amazing looking and the immersion to tight it really feels like any more and it would have been lessened. I for one am also relieved to play a game with such a basic structure. I have played enough game where I have to collect a million cookie jars or run through a 500 page list of side quests. Shadow of the Colossus leaves you alone to explore the massive and beautiful world, or do what you came there to do.....kill some Colossi.
Just when I thought the setting was impressive I met my first Colossus. The sheer size of it immediately was evident and made it all the more enticing. After a. bit of jumping, grabbing and stabbing the beast was felled and I was teleported back to where I started.
For those of you who have not played the game before this is the gameplay loop. It feels like Zelda Groundhog day, you search for the Colossus, take it down and go do it to another one.
So far I am 8 Colossi in and man let me tell you, this is some legendary game design. The basic idea is the same for each Colossi, they are mostly made of a stone sort of materiel, but some parts have what I can only describe as fur. Finding your way onto the Colossus is only the beginning.
Each Colossus is so varied, but each provide a similar level of satisfaction when taking them down. The Colossus with the long arm that he tries to smash you with takes timing and stamina to control where the flying Colossus takes a moment for figure out just how to exactly get onto it but once you do the whole puzzle becomes a lot easier.
I will discuss the climbing and control issues in the next installment but I have to say I really like the grip mechanic and how it makes kicks the intensity up to 11. Controlling your grip is a mini game in it's own, but those moments when the Colossus is shaking violently or dives underwater and you grip the controller as hard as Wanderer grips the fur are some of the best that I can remember in games.
Next time I will update my status and talk a little bit about the story (or lack there of) and about some of the issues in the game and if they have worn me down over the next few hours. Safe to say I really appreciate this game and am thoroughly enjoying almost every aspect of it and am looking forward to taking a few more Colossi down.